Swimmers from the Mokihana Aquatics and Swim Kauai Aquatics programs found their windows to shine at the 18th annual Bill Smith Invitational swim meet, which wrapped up Oct. 29 at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center on Oahu.
Leigh Idica, 12, was the sole representative from Mokihana Aquatics, competing in seven events and coming up with a best time in the 50 backstroke where she touched on a 39.52 second swim.
“She surpassed all expectations,” said Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya. “Swimming alone, without her coach, is hard enough, but having to see her friends at another tent is nothing short of brutal. She was calling me with updates, and was sad because she wanted to do better. I know swimming, and what Leigh accomplished put her in a place that makes her better than just about anyone at Bill Smith. Yes, she and I both would have like to see better times, but at this point in our season, she was awesome.”
SKA took a dozen swimmers to Oahu and finished with new state qualifying swims and a number of time drops, said SKA coach Curt Colby.
Alana Cayabyab, 14, finished with four best times with a new state time standard in the 100 butterfly (1:04.42). Maddy Hoesel, 15, picked up seven new best times with a new state standard in the 200 backstroke (2:23.90).
Nevaeh Ibanez, 12, picked up two state times, one in the 50 breaststroke (34.95), and the 100 breaststroke (1:17.21), finishing the events in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Chloe Inouye, 11, dropped times in four events. She finished sixth in the 50 breaststroke with a new state time standard at 36.15.
“Heidee Kaeo, our only 10 year-old at the meet, had seven best times with eight state qualifying swims,” Colby said. “She has now qualified in almost every event you can for the state meet.”
Heidee’s top performances came with a fifth place in the 100 freestyle (1:08.21), and a fifth place in the 200 freestyle (2:26.47).
Talen Koerte, 11, finished with three best times, the most impressive being in the 50 freestyle where he dropped 1.60 seconds for a 29.23 swim, the first time he broke 30 seconds.
Julia Safford, 15, picked up a dropped time in the 200 Individual Medley, but her best showing came in the 200 breaststroke where she finished fifth on a state swim of 2:43.70.
Zach Safford, 17, had a best time in the 50 freestyle (22.53). But his best showing was the 200 IM where he finished second in the Open Men’s division.
Kamaira Silva, 12, finished with five best times which all were state qualifying swims, including the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, and 200 freestyle. Her strongest showing came in the 100 freestyle where she finished eighth place on a 59.70 swim.
Tyler Tanaka, 13, was perfect in his five events, the strongest showing being in the 200 breaststroke where he touched at 2:42.32 for 13th place.
Akira Williams, 16, finished second in the 50 freestyle (22.27) for his best showing in five new best time swims. He also showed strong in the 200 breaststroke (2:16.89) with a 16-second improvement, and the 100 breaststroke (1:02.46). Throughout the meet, Akira never placed lower than seventh place, and all of his swims were state qualifying standards.
Ryden Williams, 14, also picked up best times in all seven of his swims, totalling more than 20 seconds improvement over seven events and qualifying for state swims in all of the events.
Colby said some of the SKA senior swimmers will be going to Oahu for the senior championships in two weeks.
“It looks like we are headed for a strong state meet in Kona in six weeks,” Colby said. “There is one more home qualifying meet at the YMCA pool on Nov. 18. We have several swimmers who are hundreths of a second away from state qualifying swims. This gives them time to work hard and make those time drops.”